Baby Proofing – What Does It Mean and Where Do I Start?
What is Baby Proofing
Baby proofing does not, in fact, mean protecting your house from menacing babies lurking outside; it does instead mean protecting your newborn child from the many everyday menaces lurking within your house that could pose a threat to their safety.
One important consideration before you implement a lot of baby-protecting changes in your household is to think about the implications for everyone in the home. You’ve probably been in the home of a friend or family member who has children and discovered you can’t open a drawer in the kitchen or pass through the safety gate without having to ask for help from the parent. The issue you need to consider is how to ensure your child’s safety without total disruption to your smoothly running, stylish home. Some products scream “baby here” whereas others can be more subtle and stylish while still safeguarding your new family member.
We don’t advise you wait until your little peanut has learned to crawl and pull him or herself up onto the furniture before you engage yourself in your new project of baby proofing. It’s a good idea to start looking at your house from a young one’s point of view before they get moving. Begin by getting down on your hands and knees and start to look for potential safety threats in your home. You will be surprised how much trouble you can get into in just 10 minutes of crawling around your living room and kitchen. To save your knees a little, here’s our beginner’s guide on childproofing your home:
First, take a look at all those low-level easy-to-open cabinets throughout the house. It won’t be long before their contents are spread out, if not shattered all over the floor; moving parts, like cupboard doors, are immensely attractive to a little one. If your cabinets don’t have locks, look for products to secure the handles that don’t slow you and the rest of your household down too much from their chores while also preventing your newly mobile family member from accessing them.
By securing your cabinets, you probably blocked access to most, if not all, of the hazardous products (cleaning sprays, toilet cleaners, air fresheners, etc.) around your home. But to be safe, check around all the accessible rooms for other places you store potentially harmful products for your infant.
You’ll be surprised at how many unsecured heavy or breakable objects you have decorating and enhancing your home – think large screen television sets on low reachable console tables, as well as lamps, glass ornaments and pottery on shelving units, buffets or side tables. All of these can be an attractive place for your baby to lean on while trying to stay standing, or an attractive item to play with. Consider ways to secure these items, or move them out of reach, if needed.
For many young children, harm comes in the form of sharp corners on furniture (kitchen tables and counters, desks and chairs) as well as architectural features (columns, poles, fireplaces, and hearths). Glass furniture, also, can result in a banged head or cut cheek without the normal visual cue of a solid surface. For glass and other sharp corners, consider protecting edges with cushioning products, as well as moving delicate or difficult-to-protect furniture into rooms protected by a safety gate or a lock. Jamboo Creations has designed an elegant solution to baby proofing the fireplace with the HearthSoft, which protects your baby from the sharp edges of a hearth’s brick, tile or another hard surface while also complementing your home design.
If you’re like us, your electrical wiring probably isn’t the neatest job in the home. But beyond having a tangled bunch of wires behind your TV, those cables and outlets are also a potential threat to wandering children. You can purchase safety covers for all electrical outlets as well as wire protectors to conceal cables to protect your child from shocks. Rhoost provides a neat electrical outlet insert product at a reasonable price.
And there’s nothing wrong with locking doors. If you don’t want to draw your little one’s attention to the junk room at the back of the house full of sharp edges, breakable items, and heirloom favorites, just keep that door locked. Safety gates are great for places you regularly need to access in your home, but if you have some areas that you don’t need to enter frequently, don’t waste the money on childproofing accessories and just keep that area secure. You can also use this space to put any items from the rest of the house that is not safe or too precious to risk while your child is exploring their new domain.
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